Apple picking is a big tradition in my family. It has been a fall activity consistently for over 35 years! With that many apple picking seasons under my belt, I have apple picking tips to share for your Apple picking trip this season!
Apple picking tip #1
Know what kind of Apples you want to pick. You’d think since it is Apple season, why would this be important? Yet, in Apple season, there are mini seasons. Certain apples peak at different times. You may find varieties in early September that are not available (or are picked over) by late October. There are apples that aren’t ready for picking until October, so it may not make sense to go apple picking in September. Knowing which apples you want (for eating or baking) can help you plan when to make the Apple picking trip. Most Apple farms have websites and or telephone numbers with recordings that will tell you what the picking schedule is like.
Apple picking tip #2
What features do you want? You now know when to go, but you also need to figure out where you want to go. Do you want a farm to have activities for the kids like a petting zoo, hayrides and other activities? Are you looking to pick from bins or directly from trees? Do want a hike to the orchard? Do you want to make a day trip out of it or just a morning? Find which apples orchards are nearest you or a drive away depending on your desires. Then look up the websites and learn more about the farm and their offerings before you go.
Apple picking tip #3
Go early in the day. If you have kids, you should aim to be there when they open. The kids will be ready to go and crowds (and parking) will be manageable. Going early also makes it easy to get on hayrides and avoid long checkout lines too.
Apple picking tip #4
Bring Apple supplies. You are going to want to dive into tasting the apples! Bring napkins, bottles of water, hand wipes (for sticky fingers) and crackers. Bring extra water if you want to rinse off your Apple so you can eat it. Use an extra napkin to dry it off. Having water to drink is important as a day in the sun can make you dehydrated. Wipes are essential to clean of sticky Apple juices from fingers, and crackers help keep hunger (and the Apple acid) at bay in your tummy.
Apple picking tip #5
Leave Fiddo at home. Many farms won’t allow pets to run around the orchards so make a call to the farm to determine their policy. Finding out if they do or don’t allow dogs will make the trip less problematic (for you and your pet.)
Apple picking tip #6
Twist, don’t pull. This is an Apple picking tip in the truest sense. Don’t yank on the Apple hanging from the tree. Not only might you damage the branch it is on (and the countless Apple seasons in future years), but it can cause ripe apples to fall from the tree (and cause another Apple picker to get clunked on the head) and many good apples being ruined on the forest floor). Twisting is the proper way. You just hold the bottom of the Apple in your whole hand and twist it. It should pop right off of the Apple is ready. If it doesn’t, it is not ‘ripe’, so best find another.
Apple picking tip #7
Skip the stroller and bring a wagon. Stroller and orchards don’t often mix. Unless you have a off road one. Best skip the stroller and babywear. Better yet, bring a wagon. The kids can sit in the wagon and it also is a great place to put the Apple bushel when it gets too heavy!
Those are my seven apple picking tips for the fall apple picking season! Have fun! And make sure to check out my other apple related posts below – including fun ways to serve apples and apple crafts!